|Publication number||US8159949 B2|
|Application number||US 11/800,180|
|Publication date||Apr 17, 2012|
|Priority date||May 3, 2007|
|Also published as||US8953448, US20080273541, US20120203922|
|Publication number||11800180, 800180, US 8159949 B2, US 8159949B2, US-B2-8159949, US8159949 B2, US8159949B2|
|Original Assignee||Abroadcasting Company|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (18), Referenced by (15), Classifications (17), Legal Events (2)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
Embodiments of the present invention generally relate to the field of Video Over Internet Protocol, and more particularly to Internet Protocol television (IPTV).
Video over Internet Protocol (IP) is a network-based one-way transmission of video content. A video source transmits video as a unicast or multicast transmission. For a unicast transmission, the broadcasting source replicates the video for each targeted client (or viewer). For a multicast transmission, however, the broadcasting source sends the same signal over the network as a single video transmission, but the video is sent to a selected group of clients.
Over the last few years, there has been interest in live video broadcasting over IP, which is different from other types of communications on the Internet. For example, one primary difference is that live video broadcasting (or streaming) is a one-way communication scheme instead of a two-way communication scheme.
Normally, client-server network architectures are used for video transmissions such as Internet Protocol television (IPTV) while peer-to-peer (P2P) network architectures are typically used for file-sharing environments where reduced transmission costs are more important than download speed. P2P networks efficiently distribute transmission costs among the nodes by eliminating dedicated server functionality.
As shown in
P2P network architectures possess a number of drawbacks. For instance, for conventional P2P networks, data starvation occurs when the ratio of super nodes to leave nodes fall below a minimum level. In a file-sharing environment, large variations in downloading time are commonplace. However, such variations are not suitable when supporting live TV broadcasting where data needs to arrive at its destination within a specific time period or the user will experience a disruption in video playback.
Another drawback of conventional P2P networks involves the unpredictable delay experienced when a node joins or leaves the P2P network. A node usually joins a P2P network by connecting to a small group (one or two) of other nodes at a time. During this joining period, if this small group of other nodes leave the network, the node will have to restart the joining process again from the beginning. If a very large number of clients are leaving the network one after the other, a new client joining the network may experience a long delay. This situation can be common in live TV broadcasting, especially at the end of a popular show. Setting high priority to joining nodes over existing nodes does not completely solve the problem because it creates yet another problem by slowing down the exiting nodes from switching to a new channel.
The invention may best be understood by referring to the following description and accompanying drawings that are used to illustrate embodiments of the invention.
In general, one embodiment of the invention relates to a linked-list hybrid Peer-to-Peer (P2P) network architecture that optimizes throughput at a desired communication speed by grouping nodes with similar bandwidth speeds into separate networking groups. This contradicts conventional P2P architectures where nodes supporting vastly different communication speeds are placed into the same networking group, which causes less-than-optimal throughput due to increased inconsistency of the data transfer rate. By grouping nodes that are capable of supporting similar data rates and excluding nodes supporting data rates less than a threshold data rate from joining that specific networking group, the linked-list hybrid P2P network optimizes the throughput performance of the specific networking group as well as eliminates free-loader problems common in conventional P2P networks.
According to another aspect of an embodiment of the invention, the linked-list hybrid P2P network architecture guarantees to maintain the maximum throughput of the communication speed by connecting nodes along a one-to-one chain and by monitoring and removing any node having throughput that may have suddenly dropped below a minimum speed threshold. The removed node can re-join the same networking group when its throughput is determined to consistently exceed the minimum speed threshold. The one-to-one architecture reduces the complexity of monitoring the downloading and uploading speed of multiple nodes and further avoids the adverse effects to node speed caused by other nodes transitioning in or out of the networking group.
In yet another aspect of an embodiment of the invention, the linked-list hybrid P2P network architecture eliminates the delay experienced when a large number of nodes join or leave a network by allowing joining nodes to connect to servers or super nodes while attempting a connect to another node. This connection to the server(s) or super node(s) ceases after a successful connection to other nodes.
Similarly, a node that loses a connection to other nodes can immediately connect to a video server or super node while attempting a connection to another node. By using servers or super nodes (as in client-server architecture) during a connecting period (JOIN process) and P2P architecture in other period, the linked-list hybrid P2P architecture takes advantage of fast respond times to a large number of peers, joining and leaving a particular channel while maintaining the low cost solution. This hybrid P2P architecture eliminates the need of complex pre-connection or alternative connection of peers since re-connection time is no longer a critical factor.
In yet another aspect of the present invention, the linked-list hybrid P2P network architecture prevents data starvation and reduces the delay described during a broken communication chain (caused by node removal or leaving the network). The reduction in delay is accomplished by obtaining data directly from one or more servers or super nodes until the nodes can establish communications over the entire sub-network.
In yet another aspect of the invention, the linked-list hybrid P2P network architecture reduces a channel-switching delay caused by switching of a television channel, by obtaining data directly from servers or super nodes until the node can establish its connection to the P2P network. Conventional P2P network architectures suffer from large channel-switching delays caused by firewall protection between nodes. Nowadays, most nodes will be behind one or more routers equipped with Network Address translation (NAT) firewall.
In the following description, certain terminology is used to describe various features of one or more embodiments of the invention. For instance, “node” is generally defined as any electronic device that is capable of receiving, processing and/or transmitting audio/video (AV) content, such as video and/or audio streams for example. Examples of a “node” include, but are not limited or restricted to any computer (e.g., laptop, tablet, handheld, desktop, server, mainframe, etc.), networking equipment (e.g., router, bridge, brouter, etc.), a cellular telephone, a video game player, and the like.
“Software” is generally defined as one or more instructions that, when executed, cause the node to perform a particular function or functions. These instructions may be stored within machine-readable medium such as firmware or software. “Machine-readable medium” is any medium that can at least temporarily store information including, but not limited or restricted to the following: an electronic circuit, a semiconductor memory device (non-volatile or volatile), a hard disk drive, and various types of portable storage devices (e.g., flash drive, compact disc “CD”, digital versatile disk “DVD”, etc.).
In general, a “connection” is an established communication pathway between two electronic devices. A “network removal event” is an action that causes removal of a node from the linked-list. As an example, if the node enters into an S5 state (shut-down), this action constitutes a network removal event. Other types of network removal events include, but are not limited or restricted to the following: system crash, changing a viewing channel by the user, an inoperable transceiver or the like.
As further shown, first node 220 1 receives AV content from a content server 230. Typically, the direct connection between content server 230 and first node 220, is one of a more permanent nature. First node 220, receives and routes the AV content to a second node 220 2. As an optional feature, according to this embodiment of the invention, first node 220 1 may also display or play back the AV content. Second node 220 2 receives the AV content from first node 220 1, and in response, also processes the AV content for display or playback. Since there is yet another node in the linked-link P2P network architecture, second node 220 2 receives and routes the AV content to a third node 220 3. Here, third node 220 3 receives and processes the AV content for display or playback, but is not yet connected to route the received AV content to yet another node along linked-list hybrid P2P sub-network 210.
More specifically, node 220 3 establishes a connection with a web site hosted by web site server 340. The user selects a channel to download AV content, such as television programming for example. Web site server 340 redirects the user to traffic controller server 350. Since server 350 is aware that the requested AV content currently is being downloaded to other nodes forming sub-network 210, namely node 220 1 and 220 2, node 220 3 is added to sub-network 210. As a result, AV content supplied by content server 230 is further routed via nodes 220 1-220 2 to node 220 3.
Software installed within node 220 3 continues to monitor its throughput speed (input and/or output) to ensure these operations do not fall below a minimum threshold. If so, according to this embodiment of the invention, in response to network removal event, the software would initiate a message to node 220 2 that it is disconnecting from sub-network 210 and would notify the user of the disconnection. Once the throughput speed of node 220 3 returns to normal and is above the minimum threshold, a connection with sub-network 210 would be re-established. Otherwise, after a prolonged period of time, node 220 3 may be re-grouped with another linked-list P2P sub-network supporting a lesser throughput rate.
Referring now to
As illustrated in
As shown in
Thereafter, as shown in
After receiving these IP addresses, node-P3 410 and node-P4 430 each issue CONNECT messages 480 and 485 in order to (i) pierce existing firewalls (represented by dashed lines) and (ii) establish communications between these nodes as shown in
Generally concurrent with these operations, as further shown in
Referring now to
As illustrated in
Upon receiving REQ_DATA message 555 from node-P4 530, content server 440 begins transmission of the data stream 565 starting at a frame references by SeqNum. Moreover, traffic server 420 returns ACK_CONNECTION messages 570 and 575 to node-P2 520 and node-P4 530, where messages 570 and 575 include IP addresses of their neighboring nodes for re-establishing communications.
Referring now to
Although the present invention has been described with respect to specific examples and subsystems, it will be apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art that the invention is not limited to these specific examples or subsystems but extends to other embodiments as well.
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|U.S. Classification||370/234, 370/255|
|Cooperative Classification||H04L67/1008, H04L67/1046, H04L67/104, H04L65/4076, H04L67/1044, H04L69/24, H04L67/1002|
|European Classification||H04L29/08N9P, H04L29/08N9A, H04L29/08N9A1B, H04L29/06M4S2, H04L29/06P, H04L29/08N9P1A1, H04L29/08N9P1A|
|May 3, 2007||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: ABROADCASTING COMPANY, CALIFORNIA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:PHARN, ART;REEL/FRAME:019343/0690
Effective date: 20070502
|Aug 19, 2015||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 4